The Dawn of a New Epoch?

Mar 26, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner - who suggest that the Earth has entered a new age of geological time.

The Age of Aquarius? Not quite - It’s the Epoch, say the scientists writing in the journal & Technology. (web issue March 29; print issue April 1)

And they add that the dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in the ’s history.

Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams from the University of Leicester Department of Geology; Will Steffen, Director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute and Paul Crutzen the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist of Mainz University provide evidence for the scale of global change in their commentary in the American Chemical Society’s’ bi-weekly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years.

Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen and Crutzen contend that recent human activity, including stunning population growth, sprawling megacities and increased use of fossil fuels, have changed the planet to such an extent that we are entering what they call the Anthropocene (New Man) Epoch.

First proposed by Crutzen more than a decade ago, the term Anthropocene has provoked controversy. However, as more potential consequences of human activity — such as global climate change and sharp increases in plant and animal extinctions — have emerged, Crutzen’s term has gained support. Currently, the worldwide geological community is formally considering whether the Anthropocene should join the Jurassic, Cambrian and other more familiar units on the Scale.

The scientists note that getting that formal designation will likely be contentious. But they conclude, “However these debates will unfold, the Anthropocene represents a new phase in the history of both humankind and of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces became intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other. Geologically, this is a remarkable episode in the history of this planet.”

Explore further: US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

More information: Zalasiewicz, J.; Williams, M.; Steffen, W.; Crutzen, P. The new world of the Anthropocene. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010, 44 (7). DOI:10.1021/es903118j

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whammy
2.2 / 5 (16) Mar 26, 2010
Oh Please! How arrogant to suggest we have anywhere close to that much of an effect on the Planet's geological systems. The Earth was here long before Man-kind, and will be here long after we are gone.
operator
3.9 / 5 (15) Mar 26, 2010
whammys assertion is one i often hear from cristian fundamentalists (not saying whammy is, just the statement).

they're not saying, are they, that we're having a direct effect on the goelogical systems but mostly on biodiversity, and on a longer timescale, atmospheric systems, which would feed into the geological processes.
the consequence of our actions endangering the extinctions of such iconic species such as, the tiger and blue fin tuna and not to mention the untold legion of undiscovered and not so media friendly species.
the changes we're bringing about in the atmospheric system, being of a longer timescale, are as yet not entirely understood but from predictions and past comparrisions to climatic conditions the changes are somewhat drastic it seems.

the dogmatic cristian viewpoint that god is the ultimate force seems a lot more arrogant then to suggest that we are responsible for the consequence of our actions and therefore can actually do something about this
amesshawn
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
TTTT, bring on the new epoch! I'm ready!
Royale
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 26, 2010
Agreed, operator. Unfortunately, most of them are so buried in their viewpoints, placing the blame (or solution) on God is the easy way out.
fourthrocker
3.3 / 5 (12) Mar 26, 2010
whammy's assertion is also common among the uneducated and those of average or less intelligence. They are neither smart or educated enough to correctly assess world events or determine their root causes. Yet they are taught by our free society that they are entitled to their opinion and they take that entitlement to actually believe they SHOULD express their opinion on things even if they know absolutely nothing about it. Such is the drawback of our free society, it nurtures and promotes stupidity rather than excellence, one big reason why the US is in decline. There are many parallels to the Roman empire if you look at american society with an unbiased eye. I was reading an ancient history book the other day and one point they made near the end of the empire was the role that immigrants had in bringing on it's downfall, sound familiar?
fourthrocker
3 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2010
I personally think the geologists are right, but the epoch started 2000 years ago. I also think that we are so stupid as a species that this will be a relatively short epoch. We may survive this mass extinction that we are causing (which is only one of many of our assaults on this planet) but even if we do the after effects will probably cause another epoch very soon geologically speaking after this one.
hemitite
Mar 26, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (10) Mar 26, 2010
The changes from the late holocene to today are of far smaller magnitude than any other geological epoch's heralding changes. I would say that these researchers are making some rather broad statements without much proof.

As little as 60 years ago we were blind to the changes we see now yet we see the finger prints of similar processes during those times.

Premature article, however I'd suggest the ushering in of a new geological age today due to the rapid changes we've measured in human technological understanding.

I also think fourthrocker needs to take a look into the Dunning-Krueger effect before spouting off from a standpoint of some intangible disgust for his own species.

If you're that disturbed by human beings, do us all a favor and remove one from the planet post haste.
JayK
3.8 / 5 (10) Mar 26, 2010
How many lynchpin species have been eradicated for human safety/enjoyment/stupidity? We don't even understand biodiversity well enough to determine key species, but we sure are good at killing them anyway.

Rates of extinction can be generally calculated, and we're in a high rate right now. Much of that is due to human activities, whether it be pollution of air/water/land or actively killing species with weapons and poisons. We are responsible for a lot of extinct species, and it will come back to haunt us.
fourthrocker
3.6 / 5 (8) Mar 26, 2010
"I also think fourthrocker needs to take a look into the Dunning-Krueger effect before spouting off from a standpoint of some intangible disgust for his own species.

If you're that disturbed by human beings, do us all a favor and remove one from the planet post haste. "

Intangible? lol My species do not disgust me, my species actions disgust me, my species epidemic stupidity and arrogance disgust me as evidenced in the post I quoted from. I love my species, but not to the exclusion of all others, they are not here to be trod underfoot,the world is much poorer now for our actions and due to the beliefs of people like the poster I quoted, it will get much worse before it gets better. Remove one? We need to remove about 4 billion to survive.
Caliban
3.6 / 5 (9) Mar 26, 2010
No doubt our activities over the last couple hundred years will leave definite signs to be interpreted by future investigators.
The addition of soot to the surface of the entire planet will be one, depleted nuclear fuels, another, many plastics, and a host of persistent chemicals. Don't forget the geo-effects of ocean acidification and sea level rise.
Beyond the flat-out denial of some, many who don't deny also don't seem to understand the sheer magnitude of the changes we face, and while there is some degree of variability inherent, most likely we can expect truly massive global consequences, persistent for a very long time, that could happen _suddenly_.
Just a few feet of sea level increase, just a few degrees temp increase, just a few 10ths acidity change in seawater, will have vastly amplified harmful effects in human terms, and could easily result in our extinction, as well.
Caliban
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 26, 2010
(contd.)
Most are confident that technology will save us- "us" being at the very least an elite core of this present civilization's representatives- but I would by no means call that a sure thing, either.
The combined effects of the changes we have set in motion will likely(since we seem to lack the political will to correct or mitigate them) cause massive population shifts in competition for food and clean water.
Of course, we here in the US are well armed, but let's not forget that so is everyone else(since we've sold them the weapons), and it won't only be ill-equipped, starveling third-worlders that will be on the move. When people are hungry and thirsty, they won't stop to say "please" and "thank you".
Finally, there's Disease, which will be bound to expand in range, outbreak frequency, and increase in virulence.
Not in any way a pleasant prospect, especially if conditions converge in the "perfect storm" scenario I've just outlined.

Anthropocene: I think it's fair.
colinc
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
I must concur with fourthrocker and Caliban however I'm pretty sure the situation is much more dire. The article states this epoch "may include the sixth largest mass extinction in the Earth’s history." While it is true that we're in the 6th mass extinction, by the time it ends (
colinc
not rated yet Mar 26, 2010
less than 200 yrs, symbols don't work?!) it will have been the 1st or 2nd "largest!" Alas, I doubt there will be any retrospective clarification.
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2010
Remove one? We need to remove about 4 billion to survive.


Hey, reject, why don't you do everyone a favor and volunteer to be the first to go?
fourthrocker
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2010
Because people like you would be happy to replace that 4 billion with 8 billion and still think we have no negative impact on ANYTHING right up until we choke on our own waste and wanton destruction. The life cycle of a culture in a petri dish is rapid growth and consumption of every available resource until it either runs out of resources or is poisoned by its waste. We are no smarter than a bacteria as a species because we are doing the same thing and most of us will not only not know it but actually defend it to the bitter end.
fourthrocker
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
Yo, quantum-conhumdrum, you use that tag when you call people names and skeptic_heretic when you aren't?
Caliban
1 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
Remove one? We need to remove about 4 billion to survive.


Hey, reject, why don't you do everyone a favor and volunteer to be the first to go?


This is at the heart of it. While every culture has steadfastly refused to limit population growth(and since ancient times, well-understood consequences), about 1/4 of the population has ignored every other consideration save one: the blind pursuit of more material possessions.
As a result, we are now faced with the consequences of our insupportable overexploitation of all of our resources. Time to pay the price. It's going to be steep, indeed.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.3 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
Yo, quantum-conhumdrum, you use that tag when you call people names and skeptic_heretic when you aren't?


1) I can assure you I do NOT have any other accounts or screen names.

2)Pollution is just as distasteful to me as it is to the next guy. I am absolutely appalled at the sheer amount of plastics that are discarded world wide on a daily basis because we make all our containers as "disposable" to facilitate the "consumerism" based economy, which is a misnomer and is not actually economical at all. The only people who benefit from this in the short term are the top 1/4th fo one percent wealthy people, and in the long term everyone pays the price.

But this has little to do with world population increases. There was a time not so long ago when people recycled and reused almost everything. The phenomenon of throwing away a brand new machine-made, laser-precision, space-age plastic, metal, and glass container after one use is indicative of the real culprit...
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2010
Yo, quantum-conhumdrum, you use that tag when you call people names and skeptic_heretic when you aren't?

No, I often call you names as well. Put the tinfoil hat down. QC and I have quite different viewpoints and writing styles. I'm not sure how you could even come close to a comparison when we're rather different people.

As for pollution and how many people can be on the planet, you are a malthusian. Malthus and his ilk have been proven wrong at every turn as when humanity sees a resource problem, our technology compensates.

The issue is in our distribution systems and their lack of efficiency. ie: flying a plane half full of good from Boston MA to Manchester NH, a whole 100 miles, when a train would use 1/10th of the fuel and arrive more rapidly.
Quantum_Conundrum
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2010
This works a little like our current government, both democrat and republican.

Neither side seems to genuinely care about people in my age group and downward, and certainly not future generations. 12 trillion federal debt, plans to make an addition 10 trillion federal debt over the next 9 years, and DEMS DON'T CARE. Just spend everyone to oblivion, and the Republicans don't care either, they just pretend to because they aren't the ones in power right now.

The looming fuel crisis is the same way.

The oil is useful for other things, namely space-age plastic building materials, etc, and instead we are burning it up by the trillions of tons when we could be using virtually limitless nuclear and renewables...

For all the time and money they just spent on this stupid healthcare bill, the government, if they wanted to make deficit spending anyway, SHOULD have bought a trillion of solar panels each year for the next 10 years. At least those pay for themselves eventually.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
QC, you bring up another good point. Our packaging methodologies are utterly out of wack due to media based consumerism.

Recycling efforts do need to go further, and I strongly recommend to those who don't do it, to start composting if possible. The immediate benefits are unbelievable and the economic benefits are even greater.

I think you're a little misguided when you say Dems don't care. I think it would be more accurate to say no one in american politics really cares about anything other than re-election.

I'm most pissed off by Carter's policies around nuclear power. We should have home based breeders installed for localized infrastructure by now. We let politics hamstring technology out of irrational fears of technology and the future. This is why I dislike western religion so much, it's their calling card in most cases.
Caliban
1.5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
None of which changes the fact that every last bit of this- environmental, political, economical, cultural- is tied together.
We need a strategy, and need to carry it out to have any chance to get through this, and even at that- if we are even to some degree successful, we'll lose a lot just getting to that point.

Relying on technological innovation alone is suicidal. It can, and will be of positive help, but we can't wait for the Big Fix- time is of the essence.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.7 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
I completely agree.

We need to start a conversion to more of a logical technocracy. Not the use, but the subsidy and generation of technology based and research jobs can save the world if allowed to flourish. Couple this with tax benefit for increases in efficiency and further exapnsion of civil rights and everyone will be on board.
Ronan
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2010
Hm. What's wrong with Holocene, I'd like to know? I mean, sure, we're having a colossal effect--but this is by no means a new thing. Ever since we left Africa, we've been trouble for pretty much everything we encountered. The Holocene wasn't originally intended as a division of geologic history quite on the same scale as the Mesozoic or Phanerozoic, but that doesn't mean it can't be promoted. I agree with the sentiment behind this new classification, but I'm not really sure gussying it up with a new moniker is all that necessary.

...Also, why name an epoch after the cataclysm that started it? We don't call the Mesozoic the Floodbasaltclathratereleasehydrogensulfidegreatdying-oic, or the Cenozoic the Chicxulub-oic. Why change the rules now?
rwinners
3.5 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2010
Oh Please! How arrogant to suggest we have anywhere close to that much of an effect on the Planet's geological systems. The Earth was here long before Man-kind, and will be here long after we are gone.


I agree. Climate change? Sure. But Geologic change? Sorry. One measly little volcano moves a heck of a lot more matter than all the mines in the world. And, it puts more dust in the air.
Mother creaks and groans on at her own speed. We can't stop it or speed it up.
Oh, and there are no critical species. Not human, or any other. The tremendous mass extinctions we are aware of prove that. It it all goes back to single celled life forms, so what. Evolution will continue until the earth can no longer support it. We certainly cannot make that happen. Now, a very large space rock, that's another thing.
exBrit
1 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
I always felt that it should be called the Bush inter-glacial.
jgelt
5 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2010
"Remove one? We need to remove about 4 billion to survive."

Start with you. Demonstrate your virtue.
alkine
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2010
Well, we are close to understand DNA, which could be the beginning of a new epoch with the creation of thousands of new species!
PinkElephant
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2010
@rwinners
I agree. Climate change? Sure. But Geologic change? Sorry.
The layers of concrete, asphalt, plastic, and metal we're covering the earth with? The species we're transporting across continents and all around the globe? The mountaintops we're removing, and the artificial land we're "reclaiming" from the oceans? You can bet even if humanity vanished tonight, a few million years later the planet will still sport unmistakable traces of our activity, obvious to any sufficiently diligent investigator. The huge amounts of fossil carbon we're belching?
One measly little volcano moves a heck of a lot more matter than all the mines in the world. And, it puts more dust in the air.
You need to stop living in the 17th century, and take a gander at the hi-tech global civilization of the 21st century.
Oh, and there are no critical species. Not human, or any other.
Critical to OUR survival, by constituting ecosystem services vital to US, oh smart one...
whammy
4.5 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2010
whammy's assertion is also common among the uneducated and those of average or less intelligence. They are neither smart or educated enough to correctly assess world events or determine their root causes.


I am a Geologist, not a creationist, nor uneducated. I have studied the way Earth's geological processes take place and understand how small of an effect we have on our planet. Granted, there is such a thing as Climate change, and some of it may be partially blamed on Man-kind, however, the Earth's climate always changes, and has always changed for its entire existence. To make some ridiculous statement that we are going to have a profound effect on the planet's rock record is plain arrogant, and pandering towards popular media. A few million years is a blink of an eye in geological time, and the Earth could repair any 'damage' we've done in that time without much trouble.
whammy
4 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
The layers of concrete, asphalt, plastic, and metal we're covering the earth with? The species we're transporting across continents and all around the globe? The mountaintops we're removing, and the artificial land we're "reclaiming" from the oceans? You can bet even if humanity vanished tonight, a few million years later the planet will still sport unmistakable traces of our activity, obvious to any sufficiently diligent investigator. The huge amounts of fossil carbon we're belching?


Not likely, Abandoned towns without maintenance can be nearly completely demolished by nature within a lifetime. Give it a couple hundred thousand years, and the majority of man's 'great accomplishments' will be washed into the ocean.
wawadave
not rated yet Mar 26, 2010
The 6th epoch the age of the Manosuars.....
Scientifica
Mar 26, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
operator
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2010
scientifica

"Leftists are so stuck on the self-importance of themselves"

a comment like that can only really come from an american thats stuck on misnamed political ideology.
something that does intrigue me is the way right wingers call obama a socialist, things seem to of moved so far rightwards there that your really forgetting what a leftist actually is, becuase obama an what he stands for is very far from left or socialist, rightwing capitalist more like
Ronan
5 / 5 (1) Mar 27, 2010
"Remove one? We need to remove about 4 billion to survive."

Start with you. Demonstrate your virtue.

I can't tell; are you disagreeing with his position, or agreeing and making a grimly cynical point?
looseyarn
3 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2010
I always felt that it should be called the Bush inter-glacial.

*LOL*, Anyway, a whole lotta carboniferous deposits have been on the move since the appliance of fossil fuels. Are (far) future geologists going to reassess the abundance of plant life back then?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2010
*LOL*, Anyway, a whole lotta carboniferous deposits have been on the move since the appliance of fossil fuels. Are (far) future geologists going to reassess the abundance of plant life back then?

I wrote something here that didn't fit, so I deleted it. That's an interesting question though. What could we possibly be missing because of the actions of prior life forms (bacteria and the like)

things seem to of moved so far rightwards there that your really forgetting what a leftist actually is
Bush was a state capitalist in disguise. Look at his fiscal policy.

No one in America seems to know the definition to any political terms.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2010
The layers of concrete, asphalt, plastic, and metal we're covering the earth with?

@PE

All of man's land coverage only accounts for around 1 to 2% of the surface area of the entire planet. Hardly a geological upheaval.
Shootist
3 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2010
I am a Geologist, not a creationist, nor uneducated. I have studied the way Earth's geological processes take place and understand how small of an effect we have on our planet. Granted, there is such a thing as Climate change, and some of it may be partially blamed on Man-kind, however, the Earth's climate always changes, and has always changed for its entire existence. To make some ridiculous statement that we are going to have a profound effect on the planet's rock record is plain arrogant, and pandering towards popular media. A few million years is a blink of an eye in geological time, and the Earth could repair any 'damage' we've done in that time without much trouble.


Well, strategically detonating all the world's stockpile of nuclear warheads might have a small short-term, barely noticeable effect on the rock record. But even plutonium 244 with a half life of 80 million years barely touches geologic time.
maxcypher
1.7 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2010
Here's one possible solution to the problems caused by our specie's evolutionary successes: Take care of our day-to-day needs by creating urban villages where everyone one in the 'village' helps to grow food and recycles waste locally.

Continue the current trend toward the 'virtualization' of our lives until the field upon which we play out our games of status (mostly involving power and sex) has been completely tranferred into the virtual world.

It would be a sort of 'double reality' in that one could be tending the garden while still immersed in various, virtual communities of interest.

The intent here is to allow our inherent, competitive cussedness to play out in all it's glory in a way that minimizes ecological impact.
Loodt
3.8 / 5 (5) Mar 27, 2010
One big comet, one big volcano, and we are all toast!

I don't like the term Anthropocene, maybe Fooled-by-their-Own-Big-Ego-before-being-stuffed-Up-cene Fobefucene is more fitting.
whammy
4 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2010

Well, strategically detonating all the world's stockpile of nuclear warheads might have a small short-term, barely noticeable effect on the rock record. But even plutonium 244 with a half life of 80 million years barely touches geologic time.


There would likely be a pretty major change in the fossil record, and the geologic record would have some small hints to show the evidence for that kind of event. Life would remain, and would rebuild. Think of all the evidence we have for the impact that wiped out the Dinosaurs? After searching, we found a large crater (many times larger than what would be caused by blowing up a nuclear weapon), and in certain places around the world, we can find a small layer of clay filled with high concentrations of Iridium. Not exactly what one would call MAJOR evidence of anything happening at all. Geology's Nyquist frequency is far too large to be bothered with miniscule events like man-kind's pollution, or a couple Nukes...
planedpine
5 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2010
great, since we apparently don't have any effect on our environment i think i'll stop recycling. Pollute away people! now that corporations are now considered to have the rights of a person, that goes for them too. It is not recomended that you eat more than 2 fish a month out of the lake that i live by due to pollution. I think that i'll eat a fish a day and see what happens. Right after i go frog gigging for imaginary frogs
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2010
whammy,
I don't think that anyone here is suggesting that we are affecting the Earth in a tectonic sense. Certainly, uplift/subsidence/subduction/overturning will continue, regardless of human activity.
But, even so- if we disappeared today, we would leave some persistent markers- namely, pit/strip mines, road and rail beds, the footprints of major cities, mountaintop removals, and the deposition of fossil fuel ash. These would last for as long as they were not eradicated by upheaval or inundation. In many areas, as you know, erosion is not really a factor. We already have sites that are many thousands of years old, and there is plenty of "anomalous" evidence for the presence of humans much farther in antiquity than the accepted paradigm can acknowledge.

Since the concept of the Geologic time scale is a human contruct, and is graduated, often as not, on the specific biota dominant between extinction events, or upon those biota's effects(ie, banded iron, carboniferous), cont'd
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Mar 27, 2010
to my mind, at least, the designation "Anthropocene" is just as legitimate as any other.
The only real objection that I can see to this proposed nomenclature is that it could be argued that there isn't anything sufficiently significant, in a tectonic sense, to warrant the designation of a new epoch, although I may be jumping the gun a bit, even at that- what would be the effects(almost certainly anthropogenic) of the loss of the south polar and greenland ice sheets, in geologic/tectonic terms?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Mar 27, 2010
great, since we apparently don't have any effect on our environment i think i'll stop recycling. Pollute away people! now that corporations are now considered to have the rights of a person, that goes for them too. It is not recomended that you eat more than 2 fish a month out of the lake that i live by due to pollution. I think that i'll eat a fish a day and see what happens. Right after i go frog gigging for imaginary frogs

Get a frame of reference. They're talking geological time frames, not even our total species existence has come close to that span of time. Of course pollution is bad, but not for the rock record. Only for us and other contemporary species.
Ford_Prefect
not rated yet Mar 27, 2010
All the other Epochs designated by (very recent)modern man last in the order of millions to tens of millions of years, and are decided upon well after the fact. For now, I'm quite happy to remain in the Holocene, which includes the rest of Human civilization, in its most widely used definition, and let future generations (or species) be the judge of our actions.

Defining a new epoch while we (H. sapiens sapiens) are possibly only in the middle or even at the start of one is a sad reflection of our "look at me, I want it now" mentality. Why don't we therefore designate now as the "Egocentrocene"?
whammy
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2010
t- what would be the effects(almost certainly anthropogenic) of the loss of the south polar and greenland ice sheets, in geologic/tectonic terms?


The Melting of the Polar Ice Caps would happen in the next several thousand years regardless of Man's existence. They have been melting since the wisconsin glaciation, and they will continue to melt for years to come. The marks left by Strip mines, roadways, cities would not be recognizable on the geologic timescale, and for the most part would not be recognizable at all in a couple million years. Even plastics would not last long enough to be recognizable in the geologic timescale. Stop taking yourself so seriously. We are nought but a minor blip.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2010
This is not me "taking myself so seriously"- the article is about designating a new time division on the scale. I was pointing out that, in the case, "Anthropocene" is just as legitimate as some other designation.
Perhaps you would be better served not rushing to judgement in regards to other visitors' postings here.
stealthc
1 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2010
Listen to the eco-fascists on here promoting eugenics just to get an idea as to how sick these people are. They have murderous ethics which they wish to impose on us all. All of these articles, like this one, are flawed propaganda pieces made to convince the masses to give up their rights and freedom for the coming epoch of global government tyranny by an eco-fascist and neo-con state.
whammy
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2010
This is not me "taking myself so seriously"- the article is about designating a new time division on the scale. I was pointing out that, in the case, "Anthropocene" is just as legitimate as some other designation.
Perhaps you would be better served not rushing to judgement in regards to other visitors' postings here.


In doing so, you are making this assumption that the human race which includes yourself, actually has an effect on the Geology of the world... That is incredibly egocentric. Anthropocene is not a legitimate designation, because every other geologic designation has been termed for things that have already happened! It's completely silly to term a geologic epoch when we haven't got a clue what is going to happen to the Earth, or when we have only been around for a couple million years. What's wrong with using the term 'recent' like geologists have been doing for the last century or so?
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2010
Relax...

If you want answers to those questions, you'll have to ask Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen and Crutzen. I was only responding to the hypothetical.
fourthrocker
3.5 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2010
Let me clarify my point about losing 4 billion in population for the lesser intellects that made personal attacks rather than an attempt to understand. Just because I advocate lowering the population doesn't mean I advocate killing people to do it as the responders suggested I do (by killing myself). There is such a thing as limiting our reproduction which was probably forgotten by the responders since violence is probably all they know considering their remarks. Only a small percentage of us live in a technologic society like in the US. Everyones goal is to live like people in the US. Look at all the problems we have with just a couple billion living like us. This planet can't support 6 billion people all living like people in the US do. I personally think 2 billion is about the most this planet can support in a technologic society. If there were only 2 billion of us virtually every problem we have would go away or dissipate to insignificance.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2010
I find it rather amusing that, while people have no problem with random fossilization of life-forms and sedimentary strata enduring for hundreds of millions of years, at the same time the same people want to claim that a global hi-tech human presence, that in an extremely short span of time has disrupted and modified the Earth's surface and subsurface more than ANY species in the history of the planet -- and continuing to expand its impacts EXPONENTIALLY and with no end in sight -- leaves no detectable traces in geological time.

Yeah, maybe some people take themselves too seriously. But people like whammy clearly don't take humanity and civilization on the whole anywhere near seriously enough.

We ARE, and continue being, THE CAUSE of a major ongoing mass-extinction and ecosystem disruption planet-wide. Within a few measly millennia, we will have altered the biosphere more drastically than any comet or asteroid in the geologic record.

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